Steve Roach’s 13-year association with 2GB is no more after the radio station sacked him over allegations of intimidating behaviour towards a producer.
The former Balmain Tigers, NSW State of Origin and Australian front-rower confirmed on Thursday that his contract with the Macquarie Radio Network had been terminated as a result of a bullying complaint made by a younger male colleague.
Roach’s exit from the station stems from an incident nearly a fortnight ago when he was alleged to have verbally attacked a producer in the lead-up to 2GB’s coverage of the all-Sydney blockbuster between Canterbury and Parramatta at ANZ Stadium.
A source with knowledge of the altercation said the 52-year-old responded with a heated outburst to an innocuous comment by the staffer, before then turning his rage towards a senior member of the commentary team when they jumped to the defence of the producer.
Roach then had a fiery exchange the next day with long-time caller and Continous Call team host Ray Hadley in a meeting before that program went to air, and was absent from the show when it began at midday after being stood down for a day.
He returned to the airwaves 24 hours later for the Sunday version of the program. The Herald was told that Roach issued an apology to the employee he had abused on the Monday, only for an official complaint to subsequently be made to management about his behaviour.
On Thursday Roach was sacked but declined to expand on his axing when contacted. “I’ll talk at another time. I don’t really want to talk about it now. I’ll talk when I get the chance,” Roach said.
The station’s decision was believed to be partly motivated by a desire to take a strong public position against bullying after Hadley himself was embroiled in a high-profile episode last year. Hadley settled for an undisclosed amount after claims he bullied and harassed 2GB’s website manager.
Macquarie Radio Network managing director Russell Tate said the station had cut ties with Roach but would not comment on the nature of the former international’s outburst.
“I’ll confirm that the contract has been terminated but I won’t make any further comment. It’s an internal matter,” Tate said. “Steve can comment on whatever he wants to. It’s a matter that’s internal and it will remain that way.”
Roach, who continues to work on the coaching staff at Wests Tigers, made a successful transition from playing to broadcasting with the Nine Network before making the switch to radio after being sacked in 1999